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Soren

Former Downcity Diner location

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I am mourning the loss (temporary) of Downcity Food and Cocktails and (permanent) the 1812 building it inhabited on Weybosset.

But looking forward, what would you do with this lot, now that it has been burnt-brisket'd into oblivion?

My vote: a 10-story mixed use narrow tower. 1st floor retail, 2-5 floor office, 6-10th residential condo.

Any takers?

I should add, the footprint is about 4000sf.

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My vote: a 10-story mixed use narrow tower. 1st floor retail, 2-5 floor office, 6-10th residential condo.

Any takers?

Sounds great to me! Something the scale and size of the nearby RISD buildings would be perfect and probably give the street a nice, balanced look, something the previous building couldn't do. Something taller isn't really called for given Grant's Block is going to be the coming anchor for that area...

- Garris

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Soren, this was exactly the sort of thing I was thinking myself. But to be honest, I didn't to be the first to say so, at least not so soon.

But since the requisite moment of silence has apparently passed, let us indeed look to the future. And let us look upwards for guidance as we ponder what to do with this lot ...

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If only they could also take out the area with all the trees on Gaebe commons and throw in another dorm with some sort of retail (maybe even a student union or something) out front. I hate the whole design of those JWU dorms. The look of them is that of the standard suburban dorm, and worse they don't build anything for a storefront. Not appropriate for the city IMO.

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Here's a recent view of the block for reference:

2006-0523-weybossetfire-up.jpg

LiveLocal View:

151weybossetlivelocal.jpg

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The latest I've heard is that the American Apparel building will come down, but it won't come down right away.

I'd like to see something about the size of the RISD buildings, uniform size. It would be nice to take this opportunity to widen the alley (Middle Street) and have some sort of courtyard off Eddy. The alley is interesting and would be a neat space to use somehow.

Also, this is one area were I would like to see something built in the historical style that is prevalent in the area. I.e. I'm not gunning for something modern.

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I'd like to see a "fabric" building here: something that fits and blends in with the surrounding buildings and rather ordinary in appearance.

Or a really slender and tall glass tower of the Vancouver style...

like this 27 story tower under construction in Portland, Ore., the Benson Tower:

photo_190_2332.JPG

The tower's footprint is about 30 feet by 100 feet (only about half of the tower has been erected so far in the picture)

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The latest I've heard is that the American Apparel building will come down, but it won't come down right away.

I'd like to see something about the size of the RISD buildings, uniform size. It would be nice to take this opportunity to widen the alley (Middle Street) and have some sort of courtyard off Eddy. The alley is interesting and would be a neat space to use somehow.

Also, this is one area were I would like to see something built in the historical style that is prevalent in the area. I.e. I'm not gunning for something modern.

Well, I don't want to spread gossip on something I'm not sure is concrete, but the American Apparel building may not come down. The store is committed to staying and the rest of the building may be converted into living space. From what I understand, the insurance adjusters have been/will be in the building and repairs are already on the drawing board. :)

Everything is rumors at this point. Let's see!

I'd love to see the American Apparel building stay retail on ground level, residential above. The front half of the newly vacant lot is rebuilt to scale with restaurant at ground level. I'm not too sure what above however. The back half (Old Safari Lounge) left as a new open plaza. The restaurant could have outdoor seating and the rest is a nice park/plaza area. It could do wonders for the back alley. It would be a unique urban space. I think it would be a great amenity to the newly developing neighborhood.

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Well, I don't want to spread gossip on something I'm not sure is concrete, but the American Apparel building may not come down. The store is committed to staying and the rest of the building may be converted into living space. From what I understand, the insurance adjusters have been/will be in the building and repairs are already on the drawing board. :)

Everything is rumors at this point. Let's see!

It would be nice for the American Apparel (does that building have an actual name?) building to stay, if only so the store can open sooner and stay where it is, I assume the J&W location is a plus for them. Though if you look at the LiveLocal view above, the side of the Mason Building is raw, I'd love to see something built to Mason's height to cover that. Perhaps floors can be added to the American Apparel building.

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I think we would be better off with it coming down and putting something large in the footprint. Something 12 floors next to a three floor American Apparel building will look odd. American Apparel building does not seem worth saving. The Grants block (lot) is with worth 6 million so one would think the lot with from both those buildings would be about the same.

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I think a five or six story building with some more contemporary styling will work there. we'll see I guess...

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I think we would be better off with it coming down and putting something large in the footprint. Something 12 floors next to a three floor American Apparel building will look odd. American Apparel building does not seem worth saving. The Grants block (lot) is with worth 6 million so one would think the lot with from both those buildings would be about the same.

I think the building does have a lot of character. It's got some great detailing you don't see any more. I hope they can save it.

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I was just looking at the area with Live Local. Middle Street (which is the alley behind this block) could be a really interesting feature along several blocks. Middle Street starts at Orange Street (which runs between Weybosset and Westminster just west of the Arcade). Currently at Weybosset, Orange Street is flanked by two surface lots [LiveLocal view]. I think pdxstreetcar's proposal above of a slender Vancouver style midrise would be good here. Maybe a midrise to the east, closer to the Arcade, and a twin for the building that currently houses Dunkin Donuts at Dorrance (you can see that building used to have another half with an air shaft down the middle). Current east of Orange there is a bar facing the parking lot, this part of Middle Street could be widened to allow for cafe seating and an entrance into the side of the Arcade. Middle Street continues west between Weybosset and Westminster. It could be upgraded to become and attractive pedestrian street (though it will still need to allow for service vehicles to access the buildings on either side). It continues across Dorrance, then at Eddy (the current back of 151 Weybosset) it makes a little jog before continuing to Union Street emerging between Space at Alice and the Providence Eagle. The jog at Eddy presents an opportunity for a small pocket plaza there. Something sculptural in this plaza would help to draw people from the Arcade to Eddy and Union Streets.

Flying around Downcity some more, Clemence Street also presents itself as a good candidate for a pedestrianized alleyway (alos needing to make consessions for the access of service vehicles). Clemence runs from Fountain, beside the little Coffee King building across from Projo then between the ProJo surface lot and Lupos. It crosses Washington between the Narrow Building and the URI building (Shepards). Then runs along the west side of Grant's Block to Weybosset. Clemence doesn't have quite the potential that Middle does, but depending on what gets built on the ProJo lot (something will be built there someday, the land is too valuable) and the surface lot behind the Narrow Building and how Grant's Block treats Clemence, it could be an interesting passageway.

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One thing LocalLive reveals is how much Providence's rooftop real estate has been squandered. I could find only a couple of roofdecks in all of Downcity.

So, I amend my recommendation to a 10-story mixed use tower with stepped terraces and hidden HVAC equipment.

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One thing LocalLive reveals is how much Providence's rooftop real estate has been squandered. I could find only a couple of roofdecks in all of Downcity.

I could see some rooftop gardens above the Westminster st lofts...

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I was just looking at the area with Live Local. Middle Street (which is the alley behind this block) could be a really interesting feature along several blocks. Middle Street starts at Orange Street (which runs between Weybosset and Westminster just west of the Arcade). Currently at Weybosset, Orange Street is flanked by two surface lots [LiveLocal view]. I think pdxstreetcar's proposal above of a slender Vancouver style midrise would be good here. Maybe a midrise to the east, closer to the Arcade, and a twin for the building that currently houses Dunkin Donuts at Dorrance (you can see that building used to have another half with an air shaft down the middle). Current east of Orange there is a bar facing the parking lot, this part of Middle Street could be widened to allow for cafe seating and an entrance into the side of the Arcade. Middle Street continues west between Weybosset and Westminster. It could be upgraded to become and attractive pedestrian street (though it will still need to allow for service vehicles to access the buildings on either side). It continues across Dorrance, then at Eddy (the current back of 151 Weybosset) it makes a little jog before continuing to Union Street emerging between Space at Alice and the Providence Eagle. The jog at Eddy presents an opportunity for a small pocket plaza there. Something sculptural in this plaza would help to draw people from the Arcade to Eddy and Union Streets.

Flying around Downcity some more, Clemence Street also presents itself as a good candidate for a pedestrianized alleyway (alos needing to make consessions for the access of service vehicles). Clemence runs from Fountain, beside the little Coffee King building across from Projo then between the ProJo surface lot and Lupos. It crosses Washington between the Narrow Building and the URI building (Shepards). Then runs along the west side of Grant's Block to Weybosset. Clemence doesn't have quite the potential that Middle does, but depending on what gets built on the ProJo lot (something will be built there someday, the land is too valuable) and the surface lot behind the Narrow Building and how Grant's Block treats Clemence, it could be an interesting passageway.

I love the idea of making better uses of our mini side-streets (Matthewson, Clemence, Eddy, Moulton, Abom, Middle, etc). Like you pretty much said, if we could somehow widen the portion of Middle St. at the back of 151 Weybosset so that both portions of Middle St. connected nicely from Dorrance to Union St. and then put the lighting, plantlife that we did on Westminster, that would be a really cool little street. Even when I was a kid, I used to think the streetscapes between our major streets (Weybosset, Westminster, Washington) looked so cool because they were so high and tight - kinda like you were looking down the barrel of a shotgun.

Even today I think those streets are the coolest part of downcity. Still, they are pretty much ignored by business owners/the city. I just moved back to Providence after three years in Philly and some time in NYC and frankly, I still think the view towards PPAC from Grace Church/Providence Hotel on Matthewson at night is one of the prettiest views in any city I've ever visited. And yet, there's no businesses on Matthewson taking advantage of the view. No outdoor seating. No lights. No signs. No storefronts. The same could be said for almost every other side street in downcity. It's depressing.

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And when I said, "high and tight," I meant those portions of our side-streets not broken up by surface parking lots.

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It's always nice to see a first time poster agreeing with me. :P Welcome Michael.

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At the end of the day you'll see JWU involved with this property.

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At the end of the day you'll see JWU involved with this property.

I hope not...

Buff Chase would do a better job putting something in there. I would love to see another Grant's Block...

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I hope not...

Buff Chase would do a better job putting something in there. I would love to see another Grant's Block...

except for something in it besides a big empty space and a bocce court. :lol:

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Now, now...

By the way, how quickly will Cornish get Downcity into one of their buildings?

Hope its very quickly.

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Any news on a possible new location? This place was one of the few reasons I ventured downtown in the morning.

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Any news on a possible new location? This place was one of the few reasons I ventured downtown in the morning.

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